New laws go into effect at solid waste plants
Valentino said new calculations shouldn’t have an impact on Lassen County and it is hoped it makes for cleaner calculations.
Previously, authorities used a formula to calculate waste diversion, which Valentino said wasn’t accurate in determining the true measure of waste diversion. He also said it was also difficult to account for spikes in disposal such as in cases of disaster waste or a material from a large construction project.
Rather than looking at strict landfill disposal, the new calculation will look at a per capita waste disposal.
LRSWMA likes the bill because Valentino said it looks at programs being used to divert waste from the landfills, such as recycling, rather than strict disposal.
Solid waste authorities are required to have a 50 percent diversion rate and Valentino said LRSWMA meets its diversion requirement. However, the California State Integrated Waste Management Board realized there were some problems in doing the calculations and there were inequities between counties in how waste was accounted for.
He said there are still some unknowns with implementing the new calculations and authority staff will be attending workshops.
In the future, Valentino also said authority staff will not be surprised to see a 75 percent recycling mandate in the next few years. Similar legislation has been proposed in the past, however Valentino said it quickly died, but he wouldn’t be surprised to see it brought back in some form in the future.
According to Valentino the new diesel laws would have an effect on the LRSWMA and for its future plans.
Valentino said regulations for on-road diesel equipment are becoming more stringent in regards to emissions of particulate matter. As a result, the authority will have to eliminate equipment not meeting certain guidelines for emissions of equipment and either retrofit or purchase new or newer equipment meeting emission standards.
In 2011, pre-1994 engine model year trucks will have to be retrofitted with a Verified Diesel Emission Control System soot filters. The law will be phased in according to engine year model until all trucks contain a soot filter by Jan. 1, 2014.
The law will also include older motors be replaced with cleaner burning engines that meet emission standards for nitrogen oxide in 2013.
The new laws are to help bring California in line with the Clean Air Act requirement for air pollutants including particulate matter, nitrogen oxide and to reduce diesel soot.
Valentino said smaller jurisdictions such as Lassen will have a grace period, which he estimated to end in 2015, to get into compliance, but the regulations will more readily effect bigger jurisdictions and construction companies
Even with a grace period, Valentino said the authority is already thinking about the new regulations now.
According to Valentino, the authority may want to do its own greenwaste grinding someday, but due to the new regulations will now have to look at purchasing more expensive equipment.
Currently, the authority contracts with someone to do the grinding and then the greenwaste is sent to the HL Power Plant in Wendel where it is used as biomass fuel.
Each year, authority staff reviews proposed bills, which could negatively or positively effect solid waste business.
Staff provides an overview of the bills to the board of directors for review. The board can then give approval for Valentino to write letters of support or disapproval for the bills.
Valentino said some of the bills could be brought to the board’s attention as soon as its Tuesday, Jan. 26 meeting.
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